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What's a good first car?

I am a 19-year-old P-plater looking to purchase my first car. It’s mainly for city/suburban driving, but I generally travel to the snow each year and to properties/farms. I currently drive a hand-me-down 1998 Holden Astra, so I don't want anything that is overly large, and would prefer a petrol auto.

My budget is a pretty strict $15,000, with fuel efficiency, reliability and low maintenance and servicing costs a must.

Because you want to travel to the snow, and visit farms, I would suggest an all-wheel drive compact wagon, and with your need for low running and service costs I would suggest that it be an Asian brand. Models to consider would be a Subaru Forester, Nissan X-Trail or Kia Sportage.